Misused Words

Emigrate and Immigrate

Emigrate means to leave one's country to settle in another country. Therefore, this person is an emigrant from his own country.

After living in Canada for several years, he decided to emigrate to the United States.

Immigrate means to come into another country to live. Therefore, this person is an immigrant to the new country, but he is an emigrant from his old country.

Why did you decide to immigrate to the United States after living in Canada for so long?

A mnemonic device that you can use to distinguish between these two words is to associate the i in import with the i in immigrate, because an immigrant is coming into a country and an import is something brought into a country.

Likewise, you can associate the e in export with the e in emigrate, because an emigrant is leaving a country and an export is something shipped out of a country.

Practice

Choose the correct answer for each of the two practice sentences below by clicking on the correct answer.

(1) It is a major decision to (emigrate, immigrate) to another country.

(2) It is a major decision to (emigrate, immigrate) from your own country.

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